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Another hit on fact-based media


According to the NY Times:

The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President [So Sad] could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

These are mostly just symbolic cuts, that would save the federal government very little money but disrupt programs that do a lot of good. But there is more to be said about the fine details of the list.

On the one hand, a reasonable argument can be made that government support for the Arts and Humanities is actually a bad thing. It pressures artists and scholars who might seek that money to hew to a sort of middle-of-the-road mediocrity. The arts and humanities might benefit from being free from the shackles of a fundamentally conservative benefactor.

That said, the cut to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is bad for exactly the same reason that a cut to the arts and humanities might be good. We should have a source of media that tries to hew to a middle ground, that seeks to ensure that it presents representatives from the right and the left in its discussion of current events. It is often infuriating to listen to some of these spokesmen without then hearing fact-based or expert commentary on what has just been said. Still, for those of us who do not have the stomach to watch much Fox TV, or read many Breitbart columns, NPR is an excellent source for keeping us from being completely sealed off in our bubble. It makes us at least somewhat aware of what the other side is thinking and saying. And in the long run, that is good for our awareness of what is really going on. No one side has a monopoly on all the facts, nor on all the lies or half-truths.

But now what happens if the federal government pulls its last remaining support for NPR and PBS? What happens if these broadcasters have to rely 100% on their listeners/watchers? Surely some stations in small communities will shut altogether. But equally if not more important, those stations that stay open will cater more directly to the tastes of their base of listeners, which is mostly on the left. That means that the last bastion of reporting that gives voice to people on both sides of the isle will go away. And that will make us all less well acquainted with all the facts we ought to know.


About the author

Dr. A - Rights Theorist

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